Carrie Kahn

Mexicans go to the polls July 1 to choose their next president, and polls show that voters seem inclined to embrace the past. The center-left Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled the country for more than seven decades before being ousted 12 years ago, holds a solid lead.

But Mexico's young are making their voices heard: Some fear a return of authoritarian rule; others simply want jobs.

Making Noise

Say the word Tijuana, and many people automatically think of a city riddled with drug violence. But native son Javier Plascencia is hoping to change all that by cooking up high-quality cuisine that focuses on the region's diverse ingredients.

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The Stanley Cup finals start tonight, between the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have only made it to the finals once before in their 45-year history. And so here in a town that lives for the Lakers and Dodgers, hockey fans are relishing their moment. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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Some two dozen Americans have given $1 million or more to superPACs in the 2012 presidential campaign. The vast majority of them have been Republicans, but one movie mogul has chipped in $2 million to help out the superPAC supporting President Obama.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the head of DreamWorks Animation studios, was also the co-host of Obama's sellout event Thursday night at the home of actor George Clooney. Katzenberg told the crowd the event raised nearly $15 million, which would make it the most profitable presidential fundraiser ever.

Two police officers in the Southern California town of Fullerton have been ordered to stand trial for the death of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man.

Thomas died in July 2011 from injuries sustained during a violent arrest by six Fullerton officers.

The night of the arrest, Fullerton police officer Manual Ramos approached Thomas, then 37, while responding to a call that someone had been peering into cars at the town's bus depot.

It has been 20 years since four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King, and L.A. erupted in race-fueled riots. Many in Los Angeles, including students who weren't born when the riots hit in April 1992, are reflecting on those days of anger, looting and destruction, asking why it happened and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

It's been 20 years since Los Angeles erupted in riots following the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. There have been many changes in the city since those days of fire, looting and public discord, but perhaps the biggest changes can be seen in L.A.'s police department.

On a drive around the heart of South Central L.A., there are still plenty of weed-filled lots where businesses that burned down in the riots used to stand. There's also still a lot of crime.

Comedian Bill Maher's $1 million check to the superPAC supporting President Obama's re-election is the first seven-figure donation to the group since Obama tacitly endorsed the fundraising strategy in early February.

And it has brought new focus to some of Maher's statements about women — specifically Republican women — and led to calls for the White House to disavow the HBO host and his money.

A group of weight-loss clinics in Southern California is under fire for an aggressive advertising campaign and the death of five patients.

The 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaign and its affiliated surgical centers are being investigated by local, state and federal agencies, including Congress.

While Rick Santorum won Colorado along with two other states last night, he did not win the key Colorado county of Arapahoe.

Political experts say Arapahoe has been on the winning side in nearly every presidential election of the past four decades.

At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos, 24, said he's not interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.

"I don't really identify with either party," said Kardos, a recent college graduate with an electrical engineering degree, who was shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. "A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side, and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one, and I flip-flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for."

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Organizers said tens of thousands of people took part in the Colorado GOP caucuses, and some of them were still voting late into the night. NPR's Carrie Kahn dropped in on several caucus sites around the Silver State.

While hotels along the Vegas Strip are full of Super Bowl fans and convention attendees this weekend, another event will be playing out Saturday at more than 100 locations across the state.

Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses will be taking place, not in expensive hotels, but mostly in low-key places like schools and firehouses.

David Gallagher of the Nevada state GOP says each county's local party is responsible for organizing its own caucus, so opening times vary.

It's noon on the Las Vegas Strip, and the barker outside O'Shea's Casino is hard at work.

"Twenty-four-hour happy hour, 24-hour $5 blackjack and 24-hour beer pong action going on right here today," he says. Dressed in a lime green tuxedo, he's doing his best to get tourists to come in.

Despite the recession, nearly 39 million visitors came to the city last year, the second-highest number in Las Vegas history. The problem is those tourists don't have as much money as they once did.

President Obama visits Nevada on his post-State of the Union trip Thursday. He won the state in 2008. But with unemployment now at nearly 13 percent, the state will be more of a challenge in this fall's presidential election.

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